FG take lion’s share of disaffected FF voters

More Fianna Fail voters switched their support to Fine Gael than to Sinn Féin in the last Irish local elections. A report in the Sunday Independent yesterday carried the results of analysis of the voting patterns in the Irish local government elections in June, presented by Trinity College Dublin professor Michael Marsh at a conference in Limerick hosted by the Political Studies Association of Ireland – and those results were revealing. Yet another reason for Sinn Féin activists to decry the Sunday Independent.The Irish National Election Study surveyed more than 1000 voters.

As the report says “Despite impressions to the contrary, Fianna Fail lost only 9 per cent of its voters to Sinn Fein. In contrast, some 16 per cent of Fianna Fail’s voters in 2002 switched to Fine Gael at the last local election.”

According to the research, “Sinn Fein is not Fianna Fail’s biggest competitor. They are far more likely to lose votes to Fine Gael”

Now, can anyone suggest why Fianna Fail would want to encourage the idea that that Sinn Féin, and not Fine Gael, are their biggest competitor?